Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown has been honored by his peers as Coach of the Year, the National Basketball Coaches Association announced Thursday.
Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns won the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award the past two seasons. Goldberg was the long-time executive director of the organization.
Brown, in his first season in Sacramento, has turned around a franchise that had not made the playoffs since 2006 — the longest streak among the four major North American sports leagues. The Kings are the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference after finishing the regular season with a 48-34 record, an 18-game swing from their 30-52 record last season.
The Kings’ playoff berth also ends the longest playoff drought in NBA history.
“Receiving this award from my peers is especially meaningful and an honor that I truly embrace,” said Brown, 53, in a news release. “We have an incredible group of head coaches in the NBA, all of whom deserve to be recognized for their leadership as they execute their craft at the highest level every day. This award is incredibly special in my first year with the Kings.”
Rick Adelman guided the Kings to the playoffs in all eight seasons of his tenure, which ended in 2006. Between Adelman and Brown, the Kings employed 11 permanent or interim head coaches.
Five head coaches received votes in the award balloting: Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks; Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City Thunder; Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics; and Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks.
“Congratulations to Mike Brown on one of the greatest coaching jobs we’ve ever seen in this league,” said Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Indiana Pacers and president of the NBCA. “He completely changed the attitude and vibe of the Kings franchise and fan base, launching them into an amazing new era of success.”
The Kings led the league in scoring, averaging 120.7 points per game.
They open the playoffs Saturday night against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, the sixth seed.
Brown has an overall 395-250 record as an NBA head coach. He previously led the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005-10, 2013-14) and Los Angeles Lakers (2011-13).
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